"battalion of intergalactic smoking missiles"

Anti-missile missiles, then?

A- Politics first, science second

The University of Victoria’s Andrew Weaver, official Canadian government climate modeller –and the CBC’s go-to scientist for suggestive but unproven links between bad weather and climate change –blew himself right out the galaxy over the Fourth Assessment Report. “This isn’t a smoking gun; climate is a battalion of intergalactic smoking missiles.”

Somebody else said the report to be released in Paris on Friday contained an “explosion of new data.”

All of this, however, is just the usual stage-managed showmanship that surrounds all climate science. First of all, what we are going to get on Friday is not the smoking gun, but the smoke without the gun, an explosion of data without the data, an intergalactic blast that never gets off the ground, the proof without the evidence.

Christopher Monckton, 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, was a special advisor to Margaret Thatcher from 1982 to 1986. He may be known to you as the person who sent this letter to Senators Snowe and Rockefeller on the occasion of their threats against ExxonMobil.

He is not a climatologist. In the following he is not acting as a scientist. He’s simply fisking the IPCC Summary Report. Read the whole thing: IPCC Fourth Assessment Report

Figures in the final draft of the UN’s fourth five-year report on climate change show that the previous report, in 2001, had overestimated the human influence on the climate since the Industrial Revolution by at least one-third.

Also, the UN, in its 2007 report, has more than halved its high-end best estimate of the rise in sea level by 2100 from 3 feet to just 17 inches. It suggests that the rate of sea-level rise is up from 2mm/yr to 3mm/year – no more than one foot in a century.

UN scientists faced several problems their computer models had not predicted. Globally, temperature is not rising at all, and sea level is not rising anything like as fast as had been forecast. Concentrations of methane in the air are actually falling.

The Summary for Policymakers was issued February 2, 2007, but the report on which the Summary is based will not be published until May. This strange separation of the publication dates has raised in some minds the possibility that the Summary (written by political representatives of governments) will be taken as a basis for altering the science chapters (written by scientists, and supposedly finalized and closed in December 2006).

The draft of the science chapters, now being circulated to governments for last-minute comments, reveals that the tendency of computers to over-predict rises in temperature and sea level has forced a major rethink.

The report’s generally more cautiously-expressed projections confirm scientists’ warnings that the UN’s heavy reliance on computer models had exaggerated the temperature effect of greenhouse-gas emissions.

Previous reports in 1990, 1995 and 2001 had been progressively more alarmist. In the final draft of the new report there is a change in tone. Though carbon dioxide in the air is increasing, global temperature is not.

Figures from the US National Climate Data Center show 2006 as about 0.03 degrees Celsius
warmer worldwide than 2001. Since that is within the range of measurement error, global temperature has not risen in a statistically significant sense since the UN’s last report in 2001.

Lord Monckton published an even more extensive examination of the IPCC’s own data last November in the Sunday Telegraph. Apocalypse cancelled

Professor Robert Giegengack, 67, teaches environmental analysis, a popular science elective among University of Pennsylvania arts and sciences undergrads.

With a master’s degree in geology from Colorado and a PhD from Yale he’s focused his research on rocks and climate change since 1970. He set up Penn’s environmental studies program, and ran it for more than three decades.

He isn’t getting grants from Big Oil. He voted for Gore in 2000 and says he’d probably vote for him again. He is credible politically and scientifically – and he’s not part of “the consensus.”

Philly Magazine reports further about Giegengack’s analysis of global warming hysteria:

…He has described Al Gore’s documentary [An Inconvenient Truth] as “a political statement timed to present him as a presidential candidate in 2008.” And he added, “The glossy production is replete with inaccuracies and misrepresentations, and appeals to public fear as shamelessly as any other political statement that hopes to unite the public behind a particular ideology.”

… To determine temperatures and carbon dioxide levels in the distant past, scientists rely on what they call the “proxy record.” There weren’t thermometers. So researchers drill deep down into the Antarctic ice sheet and the ocean floor and pull up core samples, whose varying chemical elements let them gauge both the CO2 levels and the temperatures of the distant past.

…these core samples [in Giegengack’s view] from the polar ice and ocean floor help show that the Earth’s temperature and the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have been in lockstep for tens of thousands of years.

Of course, that was long before anybody was burning fossil fuels. So Giegengack tells his students they might want to consider that “natural” climatic temperature cycles control carbon dioxide levels, not the other way around. That’s the crux of his argument with Gore’s view of global warming — he says carbon dioxide doesn’t control global temperature, and certainly not in a direct, linear way.

…”See,” Gieg says, “the thing he [Gore] doesn’t mention is that there are 2.4 billion people in India and China who have launched a campaign that will increase their energy consumption by a factor of 10. No matter what we do. If we somehow cut our CO2 emissions in half, you wouldn’t be able to measure the difference because of the role played by India and China.

“It’s over. If CO2 is the problem, we’ve already lost.”

When Gieg gets to this point in his argument, as he often does when talking about global warming, he gets a little frustrated. “I always get sidetracked because, first of all, the science isn’t good. Second, there are all these other interpretations for what we see. Third, it doesn’t make any difference, and fourth, it’s distracting us from environmental problems that really matter.” Among those, Gieg says, are the millions of people a year who die from smoking and two million people a year who die because they don’t have access to clean water.

Emphasis mine. The only difference spending a trillion dollars to implement Kyoto would make would be to waste the resources we would need to cope with the catastrophe the UN is predicting to be one-third less serious than it was 5 years ago.

The pity is that getting clean water to people is something the UN might actually be able to accomplish. Sure, it would cost 5 times as much as it should and take 3 times as long, but the UN’s already had more than enough time and more than enough money.

The question is why those 2 million people are still dying every year from polluted water. One answer is that it’s just easier for the UN to fret about Kyoto.

See also, other TOC posts.


Update: 1:53PM Do NOT miss Mark’s Steyn. What’s so hot about fickle science?